Undoubtedly, the performance of Red Bull y AlphaTauri at this start of the season of the F1 shows that the unit of power developed by Honda It is one of the key pieces that your vehicles have. Before announcing his retirement at the end of this year, the Japanese engineers had pointed all their letters to an evolution that they were going to put on the track in 2022, but the decision made by the company precipitated the plans and the new UP was released this year. And in light of the results achieved, it was a correct measure.
The dutch Max Verstappenby Red Bull; achieved pole in the Bahrain Grand Prix, where he finished second after being a great protagonist. The revenge came to him in the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna with a great victory over the English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).
“The original plan was to implement this new UP structure this year, but then it was decided not to. Everything changed when Honda announced that we would leave the category. I went to President Hachigo and told him that we would really like to implement this new structure in our final year. And, kindly, accepted that request ", revealed Yasuaki Asaki, head of engine development for the Japanese brand.
“With the green light given, our engineers went to work trying to get everything ready for the new season. That did not seem like an easy task given the scope of the changes that were being made in the architecture of the power unit "added the technician.
In the first place, the design of the camshaft to make it much more compact and its position was also lowered so that it is closer to the ground. In addition, the valve angle. All to achieve improved combustion efficiency.
A much lower deck and compact to improve the fluidity of the air through it, the center of gravity was lowered the combustion engine and the distance between cylinders. All of this resulted in a smaller motor.
“On the old drive that was mounted on top of the transmission we also had a tilt range where it was slightly offset to the right. What we did was to reverse this inclination in the new engine, so the right side is more forward and the left more backward "admitted Asaki, who assured that all that work was carried out over a period of six months.
“I think we were able to implement everything we have to do to compete with Mercedes. We had a lot of cooperation from Red Bull, making sure we could get the most out of this new compact engine. ", indicated the Japanese specialist.
“It is the first time that we have changed the structure of the UP itself. But I think the biggest challenge we've had up to this point was in the McLaren days when we made big changes to the MGU-H, we changed the position of the compressor and turbine relative to the V-bench. I think the biggest challenges they were then ”, compared Asaki, who also appreciated the cooperation of the Honda jet and the work carried out in the plant Kumamoto that manufactures motorcycles and was in charge of lining cylinder liners.
All of Honda's off-track work went unnoticed for the past six months, but the competitiveness at the start of this season is the first sign of what has been accomplished from a performance standpoint. Now the challenge is trying to turn that into the best possible results.